Can I just cancel my mobile phone contract?

Cancelling a service when you no longer need it should be painless and straightforward.  So why on earth is it so difficult to cancel a mobile phone contract and why do they make us jump through all these hoops to do it?

I have paid for a mobile contract for nearly 18 months and was required to give a minimum of 30 days notice which I duly did when I called them today.  However I have been told that I need to ring back on a certain date otherwise I can't cancel my contract!

The difference between this date they gave me and today is three weeks.  By the way, I haven't actually used the phone at any point during the last year due to the fact that it was lost somewhere at home.  I was happy enough to pay the contract off after I was not given any help regarding replacing the handset I misplaced (I realised I would have to buy a new one).

Cancel mobile phone contract I have to ring back in three weeks time...

It makes me quite angry actually the way these mobile phone companies only seem to be interested in new customers, they couldn't care less about keeping their existing customers happy.  They have already tried to sell me a new mobile phone contract twice and I have given them a resounding NO each time.  They told me I could solve the lost phone problem with a new phone and contract.  But if I want to leave them I have to ring back in three weeks time and put myself through the hard sell again.  It's either that or I keep on paying them each month.

I have memory issues and have already told them reason I can't find the phone (it's in a safe place - so safe Ive lost it!).  I'm basically worried that I'll be hijacked into paying more if I phone on the wrong day.  I just wanted to ring up and cancel my mobile phone contract - it can't be that difficult can it?

By: Topsyturvy UK

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I too am being hounded by 3. I am a 77 year old pensioner, never used the tablet, as it got damaged beyond repair, I duly gave notice and stopped my d.d. they are threatening me for just £15.70. All the calls etc must be costing them a small fortune as I am called up to 4 or 5 times a day I do not reply I have written,
No company should be allowed to frighten ex clients, The word about how they go about their business needs to be put out there for the mobile paying public to see what could and proberbly will happen when they wish to end their contracts.
Can I do anything, I do not owe this awful company anything,


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annj - 19-Sep-13 10:44

Suziemoo, write to them to complain putting in all the details as you have here. Cancel the direct debit with the bank. Do not bother to engage in any further telephone conversation with them - put everything in writing.

You'll probably start to get letters from so-called debt collection agencies. Reply to each one, simply stating the details - you probably can prepare a standard letter for this so that you only need to alter it slightly each time you send it.

Keep a careful record of all correspondence - both sent and received.

It is highly unlikely to go to the legal level but, if it does, make sure you go along and attend. In cases like this, it usually is simply a judge sitting in his office on his own, and you can go along and explain everything.

Don't let the bast**ds win!


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miserablemoaninggit - 31-Aug-13 14:29

I had a 3 phone on 18 month contract. A week before the end of the contract the phone died, just would not switch on. I rang and was told that I could get a free upgrade, so I did. The asian guy on the phone said that I could take a pay as you go sim card too for my old phone. I explained that I didn't know if I could get the old phone to work and he said that all I had to do was return the sim card within 14 days if I didn't need it. The new phone arrived and the sim card for it but the other pay as you go sim card did not arrive so I wasn't worried about it as the old phone was totally useless and I threw it away. I then noticed a month later that there was an extra amount of £6.40 going out of my bank account to 3 as well as my £32.00 a month contract. I rang 3 to find out what it was for and was told that it was for the 2nd contract. I said that I did not receive a sim for another contract and that the phone was useless anyway and so I could not use it. They are arguing that I agreed to the new contract on the phone and that they couldn't cancel it as I hadn't returned the sim card. I explained that the sim card had not arrived so how could I send it back to cancel? They say that I owe the 10 months contract amount @ £6.40 a month less 10% if I cancel? I then explained that the new phone I received now does not get any signal at my home or work place and very little anywhere else and so I want to cancel this one too. I was told that if I cancel the contract I owe the rest of the 23 months @ £32.00 a month less 3%!!! This is scandalous! The phone is not fit for purpose as I do not receive a signal most of the time! is there anything I can do?


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Suziemoo - 31-Aug-13 12:57

I too have had issues with 3Mobile and trying to cancel my contract after the agreed period. I have received bills for the folowing months after I cancelled and now a debt collection agency is involved. 3Mobile insist that I have not cancelled simply because I did not use the PAC within the alloted time, so the contract rolls on as this forms part of their cancellation policy and contract terms and conditions, despite me using the phrase "I want to cancel the contract!" at the time. I asked them to quote where it states this within the contract terms, and also in OFCOM regulations, surprisingly they were unable to do this. End result though, after firm determination and the threats of legal action and of sending them a bill for £35 for each letter I have/will receive and £20 p/h for each call I have/had to make to resolve this, they have agreed to accept a small pro-rated amount for the notice period as payment and account closed! Still going to send them a bill though and will have to fight for amendment to credit rating file, but so far its 1-0 to me.
So my advice to anyone in this situation is be firm and clear about your rights - a contract ends at the end of your agreed term (albeit with an agreed notice period) so you can call them (usually one month) before its ends and give notice, they cannot refuse no matter what they say.


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weeebadger - 5-Apr-13 13:24

Hi all,

one year contract with Orange is finishing 27/3/2013 so I was calling them that i dont want renew it I want to end it. Still can't understand why but they refused to cancel it as the deal is worthfull, the deal check confirmed that the plan i have is the best. Nice, but am leaving UK so there is no point to keep the contract which is about to finish. Their answer? Sorry, can't help you ma'am. Your contract will be renew...

am desperate, what shall i do?

how to get rid of that?


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Dtzz - 4-Mar-13 14:26

Hi, I just spent another 40 minutes trying to cancel a 3G monthly rolling contract with THREE.co.uk. I called to stop the contract on 2012-Sep-11 since I had not been using it since Sep-2012. And I was told the contract wasn't stopped and that they would stop it today, immediately now on 2013-Jan-03.
It appeared that the staff tried to tell a different story as if I had wanted to keep the contract, knowing full well that I had not been using it since Sep-2012.
Their 3G services are ok, but the integrity of their staff is horrendously questionable.


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Nightmare with THREE.co.uk - 3-Jan-13 14:28

Hi, I've just spent 40 minutes on the phone, trying to cancel a 3G dongle monthly rolling contract. I've been passed around to five different departments, given my details again and again, been advised to purchase different operating software, told I am using the wrong kind (Linux), been offered an upgrade to something I don't want, been kept waiting, been rung back twice and am still no nearer cancelling this contract.

I do understand that they have probably been given instructions by their supervisors to give customers the run-around and to make cancelling as difficult as posible but there is a limit to anyone's patience.

I'm going to direct my query to the head office in Scotland and cancel my direct debit myself. Just wish I'd neve got involed with this useless company.


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Disenchanted with Indian call centres - 24-Dec-12 19:35

I was comin to the end ov my contract 2 months ago and decided to upgrade instead of cancel but they sed they wud send me a phone out but they gt intouch with me and sed they didn't av any in stock so I decided to cancell which I did. And they sed that was all ok and gone thru fine so I paid the rest of my contract and then every thing was cancelld. And within a month they had sent me the phone out bt I cancelld everything. Wat do I do I've had the phone for ova a month now and they avent mentiond anything abowt it wen I've rang up to pay my current contract ,any1 have have a answer


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ash sharpe - 14-Nov-12 00:15

Got taken for a ride by '3', circa the service in 2010, f'n never worked, & on complaining was Then informed that the original 3 dongle i purchased @£10/mnth, contract for ONLY 12 mnths, was (6 mnths later) now obsolete & subsequently replaced by a New 3- dongle. I foolishly carried on paying the obsolete dongle for almost 20 months & when terminated was then accosted by '3' for "outstanding revenues". To say, I despise '3' is being polite. They constantly chase me for 'outstanding fees' but I DO keep my moby-contracts, plus signatures, & is i'm now aware of 'aggressive bullshit' from Corporate malingerers. I now sit back & await their numerous 'legal conflicts'. Quite simply, 3 are best used as toilet paper.


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Douglas Borthwick, Mr. F'n Angry. - 9-Nov-12 00:39

Hi got a contract phone with 3 two days ago (the iPhone 4s) but have just found out that in a couple of weeks the iPhone 5 will be getting released... Is there a cooling off period where I can cancel my contract? I get good signal with 3 and wish to use them as a provider again just with the new phone... PLEASE HELP!!!!!!


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Mark - 7-Sep-12 15:46

i have a orange contract for 24 months i got it from carphone warehouse can i cancel it after 4 days do anyone have any idea?


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piglet - 14-Feb-12 18:50

i have a o2 contract for 24 months, ive had it 2 months and want the cancel it, i got it over the phone so i havent signed anything for it. im i legally bound to it? would anyone have the answer?


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rachel - 21-Nov-11 20:33

if anyone want to cancel a contract from 3network
& do experience a problems when phoning 3network
or in a shop well simple thing to do is go to your bank
& cancel the direct debit with 3network. That way
3network can't take your money & if they send you
a bill thru post, don't pay it just write to them explain
what the situation is or if don't care rip the bills letter
in the bin simple as that also 3network would do
anything to keep their 3 image perfect & probably just
leave you alone. Don't worry as there are plenty of
other network to chose from also pay&go, easy....


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podgy - 10-Oct-11 06:13

Hi I have 3 x three phones and have had one for 20mths one for 14 mths and a recent 4 mnth one , they have just agreed to cancel the phones as they can no longer provide network coverage where I live , but want me to send all the phones back to them before they will cancel ?? hmmmmmm surely I have been paying for these phones a percentage every month and said this to them but they are insistant I have to return phones ... NO where in there T7C's do they say about returning the phone if they cancel the contract.. whats your thought all


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Knight5ter - 16-Jun-11 17:01

Referring to Bubblesmunchkin problem - I had a 3 contract in 2004-5, which I gave them a month's notice to terminate the contract, upon which I got a call from 3 on the last day of the notice period and offered me to upgrade for which I said NO to them and told them that "IF" I want renew my contract I will get back to them. Then instead of closing the file, they kept taking the funds from my bank account until one day after 3-4 months I noticed the charge on my bank statement. On calling 3, they told me that I was suppose to call them back and ask them to terminate the contract (note I had already given them 30days written notice). After this they said that my 30 days notice period will start from the day I called them back, and on proving to them that I had made not a single phonecall from the previous end date, I threatened to take court action - upon which they refunded the 3-4 months charge back into my account. But this was not the end of it - they contacted me to my new address after 3 years through debt collection agency asking to pay back to them "my money" along with interest - thankfully, I had kept the proof (signed-for letter receipt) stapled to the termination letter and a confirmation from 3 for the refund, which after sending them the copy via email and again threating to take them to court - I got a "verbal" assurance from 3 custoomer service that it was a mistake - I asked them to give a written confirmation to which they resisted and finally sent me an email confirmation.

Again, knowing these issues/hassels we (my wife and myself) kept away from the "contracts" but finally decided to go to 3 as they were offering the highest number of calls and eat as you can data usage with IPhone 4 - but our phone line was not enabled for a week, and now we tried to take it back to them after a week and they are refusing to cancel the contract and are charging us from the day we were handed the phone.


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DK - 31-May-11 17:53

hi guys I need help I have lost my phone and I haven't paid my bills due to some problems I am on 3 network so what can I do any pl z help me


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ross - 21-May-11 14:37

I cancelled my mobile phone and interned with 3 back in November 2011. I've contacted them more times than I care to remember (but have it all documented). Keep telling them that the contract is cancelled (I gave the required months notice), but they still keep billing me. They've sent me to debt collectors twice and had to recall my file each time. They keep telling me that the contract hasn't been cancelled. They even called me a liar at one stage. On the phone they tell me that they will cancel everything and that I don't owe them money, but then I get a statement from them demanding money. I've written to them, emailed them, and this morning have written to the Executive Office. I've already taken solicitors advice and am more than willing to go to court for this - and sue them for ruining my credit rating. Has anyone else had this problem?


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Bubblesmunchkin - 28-Apr-11 12:02

yes exactly thats why im going to start complaining to every one I can find above them and to trading standereds and complaints and name and shame websites if anyone would care to join me or take part in this experiment. I would love to see if the government things its ok for these companies to treat us like we have no leagal rights and if we are not even human


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nikky - 11-Apr-11 18:53

Most mobile phone contracts are upsold to the extent that the user only uses a small proportion of the airtime/data/texts he pays for. Apparently the average UK contract is 600 minutes, a typical user, whatever that might be, uses 240 minutes. The networks are profiting out of that. On top of that, you have the 'free' phone which is costing you £25 a month over 24 months, discount the cost of the calls you make, maybe £10, the 'free' phone costs you £15 X 24 = £360 when you could probably buy it for £150.

It is indeed a huge scam. Then there's the 'roaming' charges .....


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MikeP - 11-Apr-11 18:47

I think mobile phone contacts are a scam how can something your paying more than its worth, and still be getting it free I think if you chose to stop paying for a contract phone they shoud cahrge you for the phone and nothing else. and in saying that the only reason they make you pay for the contract monthly is so they end up getting more from you than the phone is actually worth. thats why there contracts should be invalid because they state that the contract phone yes contract phone is free gift but the contract is for a phone so its a lie because it is not free, even the termination fees means you end up paying about 700 pound or more for an apparently free gift. what they do to there customers is robberey and extortion and should be illegal


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nikky - 11-Apr-11 18:38

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